Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

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YSS
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Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby YSS » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:54 pm

Just looking at the numbers (GPA & LSAT) Harvard and Yale are nearly identical. Then you factor in the fact Harvard has over 2x as many students and it got me thinking about what a stupid factor this is when ranking the PRESTIGE of a school. If Harvard wanted they could literally SMASH Yale numbers wise. One could argue that the top 200 students at Harvard are much better than the top 200 students at Yale. Ranking of a school's prestige shouldn't factor something this arbitrary.

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beachbum
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby beachbum » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:57 pm

Do you have anything to back that up?

acrossthelake
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby acrossthelake » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:58 pm

It's not just class sizes...

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bk1
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby bk1 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 12:59 pm

40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR. I posted this wrongly, I get it. :P

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).

EDIT: For my own stupidity.
Last edited by bk1 on Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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BruceWayne
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby BruceWayne » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:06 pm

bk1 wrote:40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR.

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).


The bolded is absolutely incorrect. Although peer/lawyer scores are the two individual most weighted components in US News rankings, they still are not weighed as much as GPA/LSAT range, teacher to student ratio, faculty expenditures, and selectivity. If the opinions of lawyers, judges, and academics (as reflected in the peer/lawyer assessment scores) were used to rank the schools they would be tied. Both Harvard and Yale have 4.8 lawyer judge/peer assessment scores (and they have had identical scores for some time). However, Yale does actually have higher clerkship and academia placement stats. If U.S News was only a reflection of the assessment scores then H and Y would always be tied, Stanford would be right behind them, and C and C would be tied. In addition, if the opinions of lawyers, judges, and academics (as measured by U.S News assessment scores) were the overpowering rankings measure NYU, UVA, Penn, and Michigan would be tied. But there not, LSAT/GPA index, selectivity, and student to teacher ratio combine to matter a good deal more in the rankings.

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bk1
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby bk1 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:09 pm

I should have been more clear and probably not included my first sentence as it was tangential.

I meant to say that YLS is really seen as above HLS in terms of those who are hiring, which is what I meant by "ranking." Is this not true?

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Rand M.
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby Rand M. » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:15 pm

Size is the really big difference. Per student expenditures is the only way to catch Yale in the rankings. All of those other factors could change in favor of other schools in a big way, and Yale would still come out on top. The amount they spend just dwarfs the others schools, and their size is a big reason they are able to do this year after year.

http://www.elsblog.org/the_empirical_legal_studi/2010/07/can-stanford-be-1-in-the-us-news-rankings-the-data.html

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Unitas
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby Unitas » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:17 pm

bk1 wrote:40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR.

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).


IIRC YLS and HLS have the same peer reviews. The only difference is in their spending per student. With HLS being bigger they would certainly see economies of scale that YLS wouldn't. Therefore making HLS be able to get as much by spending less per student, but pushing it down in the ranking below YLS.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby notanumber » Fri Aug 27, 2010 1:42 pm

I don't see the point of this argument. Would it be theoretically possible for Harvard to radically reinvent its law school in order to game the USNWR rankings? Sure. But they would never do it because the administration realizes that Harvard gains more by being the "big kid on the blog" than they would by blowing their money to appease a trashy magazine. And in any case, the same could be done at Yale (imagine what their per student spending and GPA/LSAT would be if they only admitted a dozen students a year!).

Harvard and Yale are very different schools and anybody who chooses between the two because of the USNWR rankings is an idiot.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby YSS » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:38 pm

bk1 wrote:40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR. I posted this wrongly, I get it. :P

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).

EDIT: For my own stupidity.


Stanford's student quality is definately NOT in class with Harvard and Yale. Their LSAT is way too low. Columbia is actually closer to HY in terms of student quality than Stanford. I personally don't get the fascination with classing Stanford with Harvard and Yale. They are simply a step above.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby ResolutePear » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:41 pm

YSS wrote:
bk1 wrote:40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR. I posted this wrongly, I get it. :P

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).

EDIT: For my own stupidity.


Stanford's student quality is definately NOT in class with Harvard and Yale. Their LSAT is way too low. Columbia is actually closer to HY in terms of student quality than Stanford. I personally don't get the fascination with classing Stanford with Harvard and Yale. They are simply a step above.


West coast placement.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby YSS » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:42 pm

notanumber wrote:I don't see the point of this argument. Would it be theoretically possible for Harvard to radically reinvent its law school in order to game the USNWR rankings? Sure. But they would never do it because the administration realizes that Harvard gains more by being the "big kid on the blog" than they would by blowing their money to appease a trashy magazine. And in any case, the same could be done at Yale (imagine what their per student spending and GPA/LSAT would be if they only admitted a dozen students a year!).

Harvard and Yale are very different schools and anybody who chooses between the two because of the USNWR rankings is an idiot.


okay let me make it simple

If every law school decided to limit their class size to just 200 students THEN Harvard would surpass Yale as the #1 school. Basically if we take number of students out of the question then Yale loses its advantage over Harvard. As it stands now Harvard has identical GPA/LSAT numbers while admitting almost 3x as many students. Plus we all know Harvard has the largest endowment of any school in the world so finances would never be a problem.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby YSS » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:43 pm

ResolutePear wrote:
YSS wrote:
bk1 wrote:40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR. I posted this wrongly, I get it. :P

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).

EDIT: For my own stupidity.


Stanford's student quality is definately NOT in class with Harvard and Yale. Their LSAT is way too low. Columbia is actually closer to HY in terms of student quality than Stanford. I personally don't get the fascination with classing Stanford with Harvard and Yale. They are simply a step above.


West coast placement.


okay but in terms of PRESTIGE and STUDENT QUALITY they aren't in class with Harvard or Yale.


they are just the big kid on the block in their side of the country where there aren't many other legit competitors unlike the east coast.

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beachbum
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby beachbum » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:44 pm

YSS wrote:
bk1 wrote:40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR. I posted this wrongly, I get it. :P

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).

EDIT: For my own stupidity.


Stanford's student quality is definately NOT in class with Harvard and Yale. Their LSAT is way too low. Columbia is actually closer to HY in terms of student quality than Stanford. I personally don't get the fascination with classing Stanford with Harvard and Yale. They are simply a step above.


If I was a betting man, I'd say it has something to do with the job prospects that puts it in league with Harvard and Yale. Also, Stanford is fairly notorious for putting more weight on softs than most other schools.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby YSS » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:45 pm

bk1 wrote:I should have been more clear and probably not included my first sentence as it was tangential.

I meant to say that YLS is really seen as above HLS in terms of those who are hiring, which is what I meant by "ranking." Is this not true?


I'm pretty sure the top students at HLS have the same opportunities as the top students at YLS. The only difference is at the bottom of the class and that's understandable once you take into account class sizes. Its alot better to be at the bottom of a class of 200 people rather than a class of nearly 600.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby beachbum » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:46 pm

YSS wrote:
ResolutePear wrote:
YSS wrote:
bk1 wrote:40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR. I posted this wrongly, I get it. :P

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).

EDIT: For my own stupidity.


Stanford's student quality is definately NOT in class with Harvard and Yale. Their LSAT is way too low. Columbia is actually closer to HY in terms of student quality than Stanford. I personally don't get the fascination with classing Stanford with Harvard and Yale. They are simply a step above.


West coast placement.


okay but in terms of PRESTIGE and STUDENT QUALITY they aren't in class with Harvard or Yale.

they are just the big kid on the block in their side of the country where there aren't many other legit competitors unlike the east coast.


oh, you and and these big claims

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby YSS » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:47 pm

beachbum wrote:
YSS wrote:
bk1 wrote:40% of USWNR ranking is based on opinions of judges, lawyers, and academics. Yale is ranked higher because it is seen as better in the eyes of these people. This is the real prestige, not their ranking in USNWR. I posted this wrongly, I get it. :P

You could also argue that all the students who get into HYS are all roughly the same, it isn't like their GPA's or LSAT's are in a very broad range, and the only thing that differentiates them is a curve (though a lax one).

EDIT: For my own stupidity.


Stanford's student quality is definately NOT in class with Harvard and Yale. Their LSAT is way too low. Columbia is actually closer to HY in terms of student quality than Stanford. I personally don't get the fascination with classing Stanford with Harvard and Yale. They are simply a step above.


If I was a betting man, I'd say it has something to do with the job prospects that puts it in league with Harvard and Yale. Also, Stanford is fairly notorious for putting more weight on softs than most other schools.


fair point

I was only countering the point made by the first poster who claimed that all the students who get into HYS are roughly the same. The numbers suggest otherwise.

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gdane
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby gdane » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:48 pm

Who cares. They're both really amazing schools and if you can get into one of them you thank the lord and count your blessings.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby Aberzombie1892 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:51 pm

YSS wrote:Just looking at the numbers (GPA & LSAT) Harvard and Yale are nearly identical. Then you factor in the fact Harvard has over 2x as many students and it got me thinking about what a stupid factor this is when ranking the PRESTIGE of a school. If Harvard wanted they could literally SMASH Yale numbers wise. One could argue that the top 200 students at Harvard are much better than the top 200 students at Yale. Ranking of a school's prestige shouldn't factor something this arbitrary.


Yale is ranked higher than Harvard because it operates at a loss. Have you not read the study that says that if Harvard had a median of 180 and Yale had a median of 150, Yale would still be ranked higher?

Yale spends more on students than it receives from the students through tuition.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby notanumber » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:08 pm

YSS wrote:
notanumber wrote:I don't see the point of this argument. Would it be theoretically possible for Harvard to radically reinvent its law school in order to game the USNWR rankings? Sure. But they would never do it because the administration realizes that Harvard gains more by being the "big kid on the blog" than they would by blowing their money to appease a trashy magazine. And in any case, the same could be done at Yale (imagine what their per student spending and GPA/LSAT would be if they only admitted a dozen students a year!).

Harvard and Yale are very different schools and anybody who chooses between the two because of the USNWR rankings is an idiot.


okay let me make it simple

If every law school decided to limit their class size to just 200 students THEN Harvard would surpass Yale as the #1 school. Basically if we take number of students out of the question then Yale loses its advantage over Harvard. As it stands now Harvard has identical GPA/LSAT numbers while admitting almost 3x as many students. Plus we all know Harvard has the largest endowment of any school in the world so finances would never be a problem.


And if wishes were horses. . .

I still don't see what your point is. That Harvard is a larger school than Yale? That Harvard is a great school? That in a hypothetical world entirely different from our own it's conceivable that Harvard might be ranked higher?

Are you trying to suggest that Harvard is the better school because in a hypothetical world entirely different from our own it might be ranked higher than Yale?

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby Kafka » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:17 pm

99% of you won't get into either school, so why does it matter

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gdane
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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby gdane » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:22 pm

Kafka wrote:99% of you won't get into either school, so why does it matter


Exactly. This whole topic is incredibly stupid. Its like asking who's richer: the guy with $100 billion or the guy with $100.1 billion. Yes the second one is "richer" but they're both insanely rich and at that level "whos better" doesnt matter one bit.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby ResolutePear » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:25 pm

gdane5 wrote:
Kafka wrote:99% of you won't get into either school, so why does it matter


Exactly. This whole topic is incredibly stupid. Its like asking who's richer: the guy with $100 billion or the guy with $100.1 billion. Yes the second one is "richer" but they're both insanely rich and at that level "whos better" doesnt matter one bit.


Immortality is being sold for $100.1 billion. I guess the other guy is as good as dead.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby abl » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:02 pm

HYS students aren't interchangeable. However, it's also not true that Harvard students are "better" than Stanford students. All three schools have a fair amount of self-selection, and on top of that, have fairly different admissions profiles. A student who is straight out of Princeton and hasn't done much interesting other than score a 179 on the LSAT and gotten a 4.0 GPA will have the best chance at Harvard, followed by Yale and Stanford. A student who served in the Navy for five years between undergrad and law school and is a concert violinist with a 168 and 4.0 from Michigan undergrad will probably have the best chance at Stanford followed by Yale and then Harvard. A Swarthmore grad who's published a best-selling novel with a 180 and a 3.6 might have the best shot at Yale. It's unlikely that any of these students will be admitted to all three, and it is unlikely that any of these students will be admitted/rejected by exactly the same schools. Is one student "better" than the others? In the eyes of each of the respective admission adcoms, of course! But which one is better? I'm sure HYS won't agree, and I doubt people in this board would either (personally I'm the most impressed by the Navy guy/gal, but I am sure there are people who will fall into each camp).

Pointless discussions of which student is "better" aside, I think there is very little question that HYS all have the strongest application pools and are very strongly preferred by applicants, which gives these schools their pick of the top candidates applying to law schools every year. Moreover, I think few would argue that for the vast majority of the most selective legal positions, having HYS on your resume makes a difference (as compared to even CCN). Would this be the case still if Harvard had only 200 students or Stanford had only 15? Most likely. But discussions of that sort are silly; Harvard has 550 students, Yale has 200 and Stanford has 180. This is part of the character of each of these schools, and it affects the way they operate as well as their advantages and disadvantages. Each has its own rather distinct culture, and each has its own set of (subtle) strengths and weaknesses. What school of the three is "better" is going to depend far more on the individual applicant than on the school's ranked prestige or student body profile, as all three are so similar to be practically indistinguishable on numerical factors. If you're lucky enough to have a decision, visit and see for yourself.

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Re: Yale is higher than Harvard because it has smaller classes?

Postby Kafka » Fri Aug 27, 2010 7:14 pm

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